Whyfore Pony?

Ponies, Neil? Really?

Yeah, I know. It makes little to no sense, but I’ve found myself drawn into the fandom surrounding the latest incarnation of the My Little Pony franchise, Friendship is Magic.

Let me explain a bit. There is a certain subset of the internet that has gone batshit crazy for this cartoon. If you frequent any forums, there’s a fair chance there’s a pony thread on there. PA, Minecraft, 4chan, random games and countless more have all been infected by the pony meme, so much so that a bunch of 4channers started their own site over at ponychan.net to cater for the pony fans (henceforth: bronies.)

The show revolves around six ponies learning about friendship, complete with a ‘Mork calling Orson’ moment at the end to wrap up the moral in a neat package. Doesn’t sound great so far, right? What if I tell you the show is animated in Flash? You’ll probably roll your eyes at another set of ¾ cut-out models. What if I tell you they have musical numbers? You’ll laugh that they’ll be twee and rubbish.

Pretty much everything you think the show is about is wrong. Except that there are ponies in it.
And your ideas are probably not that wrong. Sorry.

Trying to nail down what makes the show appealing is hard. The most effective way to show you is to get you to watch an episode. Go watch Dragonshy. It’ll take you about 20 minutes and if you don’t like it you’ve lost nothing. It’s from part way through the series, but you’ll be fine. There ARE cute bits, but cute can be fun. There IS pink, but we’ve got past pink being a girl’s colour, haven’t we? You will feel a bit silly; this is a natural part of the process. It may help to have had a beer or two. Watch it in secret if it helps. You wouldn’t be the first person to skip the theme tune, but I suggest you watch at least one episode all the way through…

Go on, do it for me.
Seriously, you can say it’s the new Rickroll if anyone catches you.

Did you watch it? Enjoy it? Fluttershy, amirite?

I can’t explain it at all, but I goddamn love these ponies. I love them so much I have a shelf full of My Little Pony toys (I had to import them, there is no pony in the UK!) I love them so much I’ve joined in with an event over on Equestria Daily where we draw a pony to spec every day this month. You see? I’m drawing again after a 5 year hiatus! Friendship IS Magic!

YES I did turn 30 last month, shut up!

PONIES!

Ahem.

There’s so much to enjoy about the pony fandom, and so much to be terrified of humanity for. For example NEVER read ‘Cupcakes’. You SHOULD check out the history of Derpy Hooves and DJ P0N-3 though.

Now go watch Winter Wrap Up and try to get the song out of your head (all the eps are on YouTube in HD). Read the fun little fanfic Twilight October (even if you don’t read fanfic). Listen to Not a Clever Pony’s original fan music. Read Madmax’s excellent comics. Pick a favourite pony. Catch up on season 1 and get excited for Luna’s return in season 2, or just never look at anything pony again.

It’s OK to like My Little Pony. It’s OK not to like it. It’s not for everyone, but it might be for you. Give it 20 minutes and tell me what you think.

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